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Description - Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann

A portrayal of genius possessed, through the biography of the composer Adrian Leverkuhn, narrated by his friend Zeitblom in the years 1943-45, as Germany faces ruin.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781857150803
ISBN-10: 1857150805
Format: Hardback
(212mm x 30mm x 132mm)
Pages: 523
Imprint: Everyman's Library
Publisher: Everyman
Publish Date: 4-Jun-1992
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann

UK Kirkus Review » Mann was the last great European man of letters; his version of the Faust myth, published in 1947, explores Germany's political fate and was written during his exile from Nazi Germany. Mann grafts the contemporary history of Germany on to his familiar theme of the artist alone in the world. Fascism becomes seen as the tragic consequence of the creative process unchannelled; a Faustian inevitability. Doctor Faustus mixes music, philosophy, theology and politics in the history of the fictional composer Adrian Leverkuhn, who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for genius. It is a fable for the 20th century, an attack on the Nazis, a lament for a destroyed Germany and German ideals: a masterpiece. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » The modest Thomas Mann boom, begun with the recent publication (by New Directions) of his early stories, continues with this fine new English translation of the author's last great novel, first published in 1948. A work written in old age and suffused with Mann's moral despair over his country's complacent embrace of Nazism, Doctor Faustus unrelentingly details the rise and fall of Adrian Leverkuhn, a gifted musician (modeled, as Mann admitted, on modernist innovator Arnold Schoenberg) who effectively sells his soul to the devil for a generation of renown as the greatest living composer. Woods's vigorous translation works brilliantly on two counts: It catches both the logic and the music of Mann's intricate mandarin sentences (if one reads closely, the rewards are great); and it gives the novel's narrator ("Adrian's intimate from his hometown") a truly distinctive voice, making him more of an involved character than a rhetorical device. Mann's most Dostoevskyan novel should, in this splendid new version, speak more powerfully than ever to contemporary readers. (Kirkus Reviews)

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